Minority raises concerns over stimulus package to Royal Fiesta hotel
The Minority in Parliament is accusing Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta of starving the Trades Ministry of funds meant for government’s flagship program, one district, one factory.
Out of the GH¢636 million allocated for the program in 2018, only a million was released.
Speaking during the approval of the budget estimate for the ministry of Trades and Industry, acting ranking member for the committee on Trades and Industry Yusif Sulemana blamed the development on the government’s decision to commission already existing factories as part of the policy.
“I was surprised to here that no disbursements were made for the Minister to able to implement this project. That’s why we have come to realise that the factories that are being commissioned everywhere are existing factories that are being put under the one district, one factory,” he said.
He added: “The truth of the matter is that there are no new factories being established and this is a fact and that no monies have been disbursed to the Minister to able to roll out this important programme.”
He thus called on the Finance Minister to as a matter of urgency release the allocations to the Trade Ministry to able to implement the one district, one factory programme.
The Bole/Bamboi Member of Parliament also questioned why the government is giving stimulus packages to hotels such as Fiesta Royale instead of manufacturing industries.
He said “stimulus package is not just for any company. I was very…very shocked to realise that a company like Royal Fiesta Hotel was given an amount of money or given an approval to benefit from stimulus package when companies that are into processing and manufacturing are struggling for funds to be able to create jobs.”
He said the stimulus package policy must target companies that can bring about job creation. “They are the ones that must be supported. We cannot allow the Ministry of Trade to give monies to hotels. That’s not good enough.”
But the Minister for Trades and Industry Alan Kyeremateng explained the ministry is looking to the private sector to fund the one district, one factory program. He said “in principle, we have various sources of funding to support one district, one factory interventions” and the programme enterprises are owned by the private sector business promoters.
“Essentially, the capitalization of these enterprises come from the business promoters,” he said adding that “what the government is doing is to facilitate access to additional financing, to leverage additional financing from financial institutions to complement the equities of business promoters.”
Deputy Trade Minister Carlos Ahenkorah justified the stimulus packages to hotels, saying: “considering them for the stimulus package is not out of place.”